Click here to go to the Viva Lewes homepage

Disappearing Lewes - Sloanes

Here’s a story for all the dfls who thought that glamour and style only arrived in Lewes courtesy of Caffe Nero. Next time you’re in Steamer Trading you’ll notice what a fab place it is (far too nice for a kitchen shop) and absolutely perfect for a restaurant/bar/venue. Go back to 1977 and that’s just what three friends from Lewes thought and opened Sloanes. Ultra stylish, it looked very much like Browns in Brighton, which it predated. Big palms, a grand piano and lots of exotic waitresses (I’ve also been asked to point out that the kitchen staff were extremely good looking too). The food was excellent, there were drop-in jazz sessions, there was cabaret, and it became a great venue for local bands like the Piranhas. I have particularly fond memories of the place as I had my first very drunken experience at a Sloanes party at the tender age of 15 and rather unglamorously had to be led away to be sick in the street. A number of the staff lived on the premises and the after-hours parties were by all accounts, a lot of fun although Neil Dann, who was one of the chefs at the time, won’t be drawn into any more detail. I’m assured, however, in response to my standard question, that sex and drugs and rock & roll figured in large quantities. It was all going terribly well until financial crisis hit due to the crippling overheads on the building. And, in effect, that was the end of that. Restaurants and wine bars have come and gone since in Lewes but in my opinion none have really come near to Sloanes. So if Steamers ever think about selling up maybe it’s time for a come back. SC

Thanks to Mr Neil Dann


Sloanes: all sorts of shenanigans went on behind this art deco window